Jo's Reviews > Seraphina

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
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's review
Dec 01, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: ya, for-review, soul-sister-heroine, e
Read from November 23 to 27, 2011

Review contains the slightest of slight spoilers...

“Scattered and peculiar- some of us were sceptical and bitter- we were a people. And I was at the hub of this enormous wheel. I could bring us together. In a way, I already had.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
I liked it better than I thought I would, which says a lot for a fantasy-phobe like me.

High Points.
Seraphina. The world- It was beautifully constructed. Dragons. ORMA. Courts. Concerts. Parades. Emotions. Scales. Dreams. “Tending the garden” . Fruit bat. Mrs Fusspots. Gavotting. Intrigue. War. Gold. Trinkets. Secrets. Knights. Jongleurs. Memories.

Low Points.
See love interest.
Also, there were huge chunks of the story where hardly anything happened. I found myself flicking back to see if I’d just missed a major battle scene or something.
But I hadn’t.
When things happened it was great but, unfortunately, these parts were few and far between.
It’s clear that Ms Hartman is extremely skilled in world building and wow, what a world she built. It was so dense and intricate that you could imagine walking through the town. I just wish she had used some of those writing skills to add a bit more plot.
Now, I’m not the biggest fantasy fan (I’ve never even got through LOTR films. I know, I know. Smite me down, fantasy fans!) and I don’t mind admitting that it’s probably because of a mix of not finding it interesting and not understanding it.
I found Seraphina interesting and I probably understood most of it but I just really wanted more to happen.

Strong. Resourceful. Passionate. Loyal. Determined. Not whingey.
I loved Seraphina, she’s my kind of heroine.

Minor blips when boys are around but I can let her off in exchange for moisturising tips.

Love Interest.
My dislike for poor Lucian Kiggs is all my own fault.
Because I’m silly and I kept calling him Lucian Griggs as if he was some kind of cousin that Jonah just never talked about.
And then I was like… no, Jo, it’s Kiggs, Kiggs.
So naturally I started calling him Lucian Giggs, like he was some kind of cousin that Ryan just never talked about.
(Him being Ryan Giggs’ cousin would make more sense because Mr Giggs (not Kiggs) is Welsh and everyone knows that’s where 83% of the world’s population of dragons dwell.)
But his name aside, I wasn’t sold with either him or Seraphina’s attraction to him.
I didn’t think there would be a love story in this book so I was kind of put off by the fact that there was. I had gotten it into my mind that it was going to be all about Seraphina being brilliant on every page. I would have been quite happy for it to just have been left out or even better, developed more slowly so we had an idea why the two of them liked each other at all.
I just didn’t believe in it.
I’m sorry, I really tried, but I just couldn’t.
As a fun note: You should have seen the other love interests Flann and I were inflicting on poor Seraphina throughout our readalong.

Oh mate, I loved this guy. Although I know he’d probably give me a cold look if I told him that or stab me in the side if I tried to hug him.
But that’s fine, because that’s why I loved him.
He was so hilarious and he came out with some absolutely stellar one liners (I highlighted them all but my favourite was “I’m attracting small children, shoo it away won’t you?”) and he’s the epitome of emotionally unavailable man.
And who doesn’t love an emotionally unavailable man?!
Bravo, Ms Hartman, for creating such a fantastic and interesting character.
Now for your next trick: make him real.

Theme Tune.
My favourite part of this whole book was Seraphina’s struggle with her identity and how she was supposed to fit into a society where everyone thought she was a monster.
I know that most people reading this book won’t know what it’s like to be a half-dragon and the emotions involved in that, but I truly feel a lot of people reading it will be able to relate to Seraphina’s battle to come to terms with herself and how to fit in when she was so different.
Ms Hartman perfectly depicted these emotions in a raw and harrowing way that will undoubtedly have a lot of resonance with a lot of readers.

So with the explanation out of the way, this song is for Seraphina.
Rootless by Marina and the Diamonds.

Sadness Scale.
7/10. As I mentioned in the Theme Tune section, Seraphina’s emotions and trying to fit into either world were extremely well-written and extremely affective.
Also, quick mention because I’m tiptoeing around spoilers as I would a dragon’s lair, I loved every conversation between Seraphina and Orma. They made me so happy and ache with sadness at the same time.
Did I mention I liked Orma?
Do I need to write Part 2 of my love for Orma?



Recommended For.
People who like epic fantasy books. People who appreciate brilliant world-building. People who like strong heroines. People who think that dragons are misunderstood. People who wonder whether Jonah Griggs has any cousins. People who love Orma.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher.

You can read this review and lots of other exciting things on my blog here.
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Reading Progress

11/25/2011 page 105
23.0% 4 comments
11/25/2011 page 174
38.0% "More books should use the word "strumpet"..." 4 comments
11/26/2011 page 248
53.0% "Mmm dragon poop." 3 comments

Comments (showing 1-27 of 27) (27 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Catie :)

message 2: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Your sweet smiling face is really hiding your manic stalker grin isn't it?

Catie Yes, very much so.


message 4: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo We're going to find somewhere else to whisperwhisper secrets about you and this book.

*whispers secrets*


No matter, I'll find you out. I have my ways...

message 6: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Yeah but Flann is craftier than you.

Also, I just typed 'Crafty Cat' into Google to try and find a hilarious cat gif and found this.

What the heeeeell.
And it's British!
Oyy. We're supposed to be the sane country.

Catie Wow. I love cats but...not THAT much. Not enough to chronicle my cat's "naughty" antics, that's for sure.

message 8: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo (view spoiler)

Catie Hahahaha, I had completely forgotten about that. (view spoiler)

message 10: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo *paws ground and looks coquettishly at the hot piece of cat in my path*

I swear your mind is PERMANENTLY IN THE GUTTER.

*mumbles about Hunter's crotches*

Catie Guilty as charged.

But isn't that a bit of the pot calling the kettle black?? You're the one who came up with that in the first place, you perv, you. (view spoiler)

message 12: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Um, I'll think you'll find it was FLANN who found that ridiculous site. See, I told you she was crafty. She wants to turn us against each other.

(view spoiler)

Catie Dude, I never told you that. Embrace it, Jo. (view spoiler)

And also...comment #4.

Mmmmm-hmm. I rest my case.

message 14: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo "The underlying sexual tension there is HAWT."

Is it Catie, IS IT?

Catie Yes, it is.

message 16: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Hussy.

Catie I'll take that. At my age, it's practically a compliment.

Flannery I love hunter's crotches. Well, any crotches if I'm being honest.

message 19: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Flann if I could 'like' that comment I would.

Because I can't I'm just going to say it: I LIKE THAT COMMENT.

Maggie Hee. I was calling him Lucian Riggs, as in:

Flannery I still haven't finished the last 10 or 15% of this, but in my defense, tending my garden takes up most of my time. (well that and googling hunter's crotches)

message 22: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Tending my garden is such a hassle.

But it has to be done.

Catie Ever since I invested in a new hoe and a flexible garden hose, it's been a lot more manageable.

message 24: by Lisa (last edited Oct 22, 2012 03:20PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa Your review made me laugh. I also had issues with misreading a name but instead of Kiggs it was Glisselda. I kept reading her name as Glissinda because it was similar to Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz. It's funny how our brains work. :)

message 25: by Anna (new) - rated it 4 stars


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

I have this book sitting on my shelf for so long ugh need to read this.

Elissa Why is there no love button, only like? Pfft, I was looking forward to Love for Orma Part 2. Why tease me then deny me it? Ugh. I demand fan-fiction from you now. Really though, I adore Orma as well.

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